Monday, January 5, 2015


From the re-branding of  Bohol’s oldest beauty pageant to the  birth of Bohol’s first surgery clinic, to the  engagement of a beauty queen, to the destruction left in the wake of typhoon Queenie, and to the death of notable Boholanos, VRS has witnessed every breath-taking second.
Join VRS as we look back at the major themes of 2014 that have had the most impact:
#NewMutya — Geraldine Topsnik won the Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2014 crown. The 17-year-old Topsnik, a half-German half-Filipino, describes herself as a “full Filipina and a true Boholana” and aspires to become a successful businesswoman.  “Success is having a goal in life,” said Topsnik. “As long as you tried your best to achieve your goal, and no matter what happen you are contented of what you have.”
#MissBohol2014— Bohol’s Miss Bohol Sandugo was officially celebrated this year as Miss Bohol, the original name of the province’s oldest and prestigious beauty pageant, which will turn 60 in 2015. Queenie Melody Fullante won the title of Miss Bohol: The Quintessential Boholana 2014. “My personality makes me a winner,” said Fullante. Months after, Melody Fullante was declared Miss JCI Philippines 2014.
#NewStars — We have new discoveries this year. Candy Cumayas was declared Miss Fishers Mall and half German half Filipina Dorina Loseñada Doerr was Miss Photogenic in 2014 Mutya ng Pilipinas.  Jinlyn Talocod of Baclayon was also qualified for the 2014 Bodyshots Philippines. Humfrey Nicasio from Tagbilaran City had successfully passed the blind auditions of “The Voice Philippines Season 2" with his rendition of Pharell William's "Happy. Another pride of Tubigon, Vanessa Laura Valerie Monot had successfully passed the blind auditions of The Voice of the Philippines Season 2. Another young singer Mercedita Quiacon was also chosen by Apl de Ap. Hannah Precillas of Tubigon town was also declared Bet Ng Bayan sa Kantahan for Central and Western Visayas. 2014 was also a good year for Carlos Carlos Alfonso Cuerquis who was crowned Mr. Olive C. “I am happy,” said James Obedencio, Cuerquis talent manager. 
#CelebrityandVIPsightings — Spotted in Bohol last July were PBA legends Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc and Jerry Codinera in Maribojoc town for the unveiling of the Alaxan Court of Inspiration. Other celebrities who enjoyed Bohol were Journey’s lead singer Arnel Pineda, Piolo Pascual, Xyrus Cruz, Asley Strom, Orlando Sol, Ruru Madrid, Maui Taylor, sexy comedienne Giselle Sanchez, Kat De Castro, Isabel Granada, comedienne Whitney Tyson, Inquirer entertainment columnist Dolly Anne Carvajal and Miss Philippines-Tourism 2014 Parul Shah. America's Next Top Model Sophie Sumner visited Bohol last February to shoot for her travel show. Miss Tourism International 2013 beauties  Lisa karls Dottir of Iceland, Phan of Vietnam, Maria Rautio of Finland, Kylie Miller of New Zealand and Lucie Klukava of Czech Republic  also visited Bohol.  Senators BongBong Marcos and Antonio Trillanes lV had a quick visit to Tagbilaran. Also spotted in Bohol were the Queen of All Media Kris Aquino and Pokwang. They were visiting beach resorts in Panglao for KrisTV.
#RegineVelasquez — Asia’s Songbird and fellow Kapuso stars thrilled Bohol fans on July 27. Aside from singing her signature repertoire of soaring hit songs, Regine endeared herself to the Bol-anon audience by bantering with them in Bisaya. She further impressed by singing the classic Visayan song “Usahay.” Regine said she was happy to entertain her Bol-anon fans, who had endured a deadly earthquake and strong typhoons in the past year. “I appreciate you guys coming here,” she said, “but I still have to sing ‘Tuwing Umuulan (at Kapiling Ka), sorry!’” she quipped, drawing laughter. Teen actors Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali and Julian Trono—stars of “Niño” also entertained the crowd.  Three months after, Tanfelix and Umali returned to Bohol to shoot “Seasons of Love.”
#BibleWeekwithPacman — More than 5,000 participants from the different Christian denominations and faith movements attended this year's National Bible Week and 2nd prayer gathering at the CPG Sports Complex, Tagbilaran City, Bohol on Jan. 25.  Sarangani Province Rep. Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao was the guest of honor.  The participants who cheered his name and received him like a hero, listened intently as Pacquiao shared about the word of God, sounding more like a pastor than a sports demigod. He encouraged the crowd to read the Bible everyday and deepen their relationship with God.
#BambooFlowers — Lessons to be learned from award-winning movie Bamboo Flowers, a film by Direk Maryo delos Reyes: Think positive. Faith is a tool. When the world is darkest, and you struggle to survive, faith can get you over the worst. Simply survive each day and you will succeed. Learn from each step, better yourself on the next step, and you will succeed. Make good things that you can say your own legacy. Make your own bamboo flowers. “Para sa akin kaya pinili ko Bamboo Flowers na title dahil universal ang ibig sabihin ng bamboo flowers. It has ancient flavor na maintindihan natin lahat ito,” said Direk Maryo. “It has a universal appeal and universal sounding film.”
#Theylovetocook — Contrary to popular belief, the wives of our Bohol congressmen love to cook! Imee Adiong-Relampagos, wife of 1st district Rep. Rene Relampagos; Vanessa Cadorna-Aumentado, wife of 2nd district Rep. Aris Aumentado; and Carol Gow-Yap, wife of 3rd district Rep. Art Yap, shared their favorite recipes on the cookbook of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc. (CSFI). The Congressional Club Cook Book has a new and unique collection of recipes to represent the diverse ethnic backgrounds, regional customs, and family traditions of the members and their spouses.
#BigC —  A beauty queen battles the Big C. Raul Gatal shared on his blog that his sister 1983 Miss Young Bohol Marcel Gatal-Diego is fighting the brave fight against cancer. “Any journey down that road is not easy for a family,” said another brother US-based Boholano socialite Mikey. Marcel is suffering from breast cancer stage 3, the same one singer-songwriter Anastacia is a survivor of. Her story has struck a chord around the province where many readers sympathized with the story.
#HelloBabies —  Beauty queen Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs-Wallace gave birth to her first child Abrianna Isabelle  on May 6. Chandrina is married to Abdul Wallace. Former National Youth Commission (NYC) official and now Department of Agriculture administrative officer Benjie Oliva and lawyer Joan Jagonos-Oliva welcomed their first child, Edelle Ross, who was born on Oct 17.
#Sevilla-— After one year of waiting, former Sevilla Mayor Ernesita “Nene” Digal was finally proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Manila as the new mayor on May 14. After the tension, former mayor Juliet Dano stepped down after the order was served personally by DILG Regional director Ananias Villacorta.
#JusticeforGeorge —  The Jala family in Sikatuna town was seeking justice for its dog who was shot dead by a policeman. "Bigyan ng katarungan ang aso ko, sagutin nila saan 'yung sabi nila na batas kasi sabi nila may batas sila. Anong klaseng batas na 'yun," Elisea Jala said, according to a "24 Oras" report. Jala claimed their dog George was not a stray dog. However, the Municipal Agricultural Office said the dog was not at its owner's house when it was shot by the police. The office claimed it looked for the owner of the dog and announced it via megaphone. However, the Bohol Provincial Veterinarian Office, said the ordinance did not directly state that stray dogs may be shot. The Zero Rabies campaign was launched in 2007 in Bohol after a number of its residents died due to rabies. Netizens and dog lovers (Bohol Dog Owners) were alarmed on this incident.
#Chocoreich —  Bohol’s Tableya Princess Dalareich Polot was in Belgium (the home to some of the world’s finest beer, most decadent chocolates, and mouthwatering delicacies) on a scholarship grant about chocolate-making.  Dalareich also established ChocoReich cafe. 2014 also saw the birth of Tambahayan Cafe.
#SelfieBohol —    Although it failed to capture the masses, the #BoholSelfie photo contest was held in July for the  Bohol Sandugo Festival. The #BoholSelfie asked participants to share their favorite things about Bohol by taking selfies of our own. 
#TouchofApril —  Dr. Maria April “Doc April” Lumuthang-Froilan, the first female surgeon in Bohol and the former chief surgeon of Gallares hospital established Touch of April to beautify Bohol and nearby provinces. Last year, Doc April went to Pan Pacific Aesthetic Institute (an organization consisting of seven well-respected cosmetic surgeons in the country and the first to offer a formal training program in cosmetic surgery), to study cosmetic surgery.
#WeddingoftheYear —  The memorable church wedding of Abdul Wallace and Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs at St. Augustine Church in Panglao. “To our families of both sides thank you for knowing us deeply.. to our friends who came: thank you for witnessing and for sparing some time on our day,” said Chandrina.

#GoodNews —  Noel Tuazon won 1st Prize for his short story, “Gutom,” in the Cebuano Short Story Category of the 2014 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza was appointed by Pope Francis as the new Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Commander Agapito Bibat of the Philippine Navy was chosen as class president of International Maritime Offices Course Class 52 by the International Maritime Officers Course (IMOC) School in the US with 36 participants from 26 participating countries around the world. Marina S. Salamanca, Ph.D. was appointed the new assistant schools division superintendent of DepEd, Division of Bohol. Holger Horn is elected president of Panglao Scuba Diving Association (PASS).  The 1st Bohol International Choir Festival was held on March 18-22 and it brought together international choir groups from all over the world showcasing each country-participant’s style and showmanship.  PCSUPT Louie T. Oppus and Dr. Cesar Saloma received the Metrobank Foundation's ACES (Award for Continuing Excellence and Service) award on January 29. Poet and community organizer Nestor Maniebo Pestelos released his “Old Warrior and Other Poems.” “Old Warrior and Other Poems” consists of 33 poems written by the author in the past several years that reflect his poetic insights into issues and concerns of a life well lived.
#Goodbye — Those we lost in 2014. This year, we lost several Boholanos who made outstanding contributions to their fields and professions, made a difference in the lives of others, and changed Bohol history. Blind hymnist and composer Onecimo “Onie” Oclarit passed away on Oct. 10. His renowned compositions are Balik sa Bohol Balik, CPG songs, and countless liturgical songs. He served at St. Joseph Cathedral as organist/ vocalist and choir director for 35 years. Bohol Sunday Post publisher Boy whose dazzling media career both in print and broadcast span nearly 50 years, died. In a rare twist of fate in the history of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP-Bohol) and in the city’s political landscape, the province had lost lawyer and three-term city councilor Oscar Butron Glovasa, the first Boholano studying in a local school here who topped the bar exam in the ‘60s,  and top calibre lawyer Aleckoy Lim.  Former DepEd-Western Visayas regional director and University of Bohol President Atty. Victoriano B. Tirol, Jr.  passed away last March 21. As a lawyer and educator by profession, Atty. Tirol Jr. served as national president of the Philippine Public School Teacher, Employees Association (PPSTEA) and initiated the Magna Carta for Public Schools.
#RobinWilliams — Hollywood star Robin Williams was found dead, in an apparent suicide on August 11.  Robin Williams’ second wife, Marsha Garces, is from Ubay, Bohol. Marsha who was married to Williams for 19 years and had two children, Zelda and Cody with the fallen actor, had issued a statement admitting, ‘my heart is split wide open.’  FYI, Williams donated US$10,000 to help finish the Sacred Heart Shrine in Ubay, Bohol.
#Engagements —  They put a ring on it! 2014's biggest engagements..and we can't wait for our invites!  Boholana beauty queen Anna Maris Arcay Igpit is engaged to Aussie football player Thomas “Tommy” Luke Taylor. Maris shared the happy news on her Instagram page, posting a photo of her showing off her new bling.  "On a romantic night in the beautiful island of Panglao...i said YES!!!," Maris captioned the photo. She and Taylor have been dating for years. As soon as Maris announced the engagement, her Facebook was flooded with congratulations and wishes. On the other hand, composer and youth leader Clyde Ebojo and Marjorie Robles were also engaged this December.  “yipeey! it’s Very Very Official .. Very official na gyud :)♥” said Marjorie.
#ZumbaCraze  Many Boholanos including City Hall employees were hooked on zumba which allows one to enjoy the exercise while shedding off unwanted pounds. Introduced in 2001, zumba is now considered the world's largest and most successful dance-fitness program. Radio personality Glee Orcullo of dyRD also shared Zumba had helped her to fulfil her task as a news reporter.
#DingDong —  Making sure that no one is left behind in all the educational programs available, NYC Commissioner-At-Large Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III was in Bohol for the Abot Alam Project. Fans went gaga over the Kapuso hunk.  We saw you Leah Marchil! He! He! He!
#MOA — 2014 saw the birth of a new mall, the Alturas Mall aka MOA (Mall of Alturas).
#KirbyAsunto —  Rising Broadway artist Kirby Asunto had a successful benefit concert on December 13 for the earthquake victims in Loon, the hometown of her mother.
#FlappyBird — Who plays flappy bird? More Boholanos turned into Facebook to express their feelings on the delightful  yet crushingly difficult mobile game flappy bird. Flappy bird's premise is simple: you tap the screen anywhere to make a pixelated bird move upwards. Hitting any of the green pipes on your path means game over. The game's only goal is to get the highest score possible. This game almost made me throw my phone into the wall today...Ha! Ha! Ha!
#Football — Millions of German football fans reacted with unbridled joy when Mario Goetze struck late in extra-time for Germany to win the World Cup 2014 with a 1-0 victory over Argentina. Soccer is now woven inextricably into the fabric of Filipino life that we’re glued on TV to watch the action, embrace its athleticism and share the excitement. Football teams are now sprouting like mushrooms in towns of Bohol, a manifestation that a changing Bohol has become younger and more diverse. Thanks to Bohol Football Association (BOHFA) headed by Edmar Thaddeus Simpao. Although BOHFA has no financial support from the provincial government, it is still conducting free clinics to teach young people about athleticism and discipline. The excitement grew bigger when Mr. Football Philippines Elmer Lacknet Bedia visited Bohol and gave football equipments. "If you can teach these kids at a young age to be active on football, it really does go a long way," said Bedia.
#NewNormal — Pag-asa-Bohol officer-in-charge Narci Cantor explained the unexpected movement of tropical depression Queenie. “Such natural phenomenon can't be predicted,” said Cantor. What happened was a “wind wave” caused by the wrath of tropical depression Queenie that destroyed several houses and bancas in Jagna, Guindulman, Duero and other coastal towns leaving six dead, other missing and hurt.
#PatRuiz — The name Pat Ruiz became “controversial” when a disturbed school administrator complained that the Diocese of Tagbilaran was deceiving students and civic organizations of the true agenda. However, Pat Ruiz, an environmental activist and anti-graft and corruption crusader, answered her detractors and asked, “Where’s the scandal?”
#Crimes — Burglary crime wave hit the city and other towns as several houses had been burgled.  Several of the burglaries happened as offenders gaining entry via an open ground-floor window or door.  Also, 2014 was a year of painful and violent deaths. A father burned his family in early January, chiefs of police were murdered and suspected drug dealers and lords were killed.
#MostAmazingToilet — The toilet at Shell gas station on J.A. Clarin Street in Tagbilaran, Bohol, goes beyond public expectations. It is now considered as Bohol’s cleanest and most amazing toilet. Not only does it give comfort to those stopping over, it also provides them a taste of luxury.  The comfort rooms have mirrors, paintings, magazines and books, telephone, wifi and other opulent-looking bathroom fixtures that aren't common among public comfort room.  It even has background music and a menthol-like smell. Well, the toilet is now a tourist destination!   “Because we want to share the good life to other people and we want them to feel the comfort that we offer to them,” said Chona Bansag, supervisor. “And we are making our station not simply as a station but a destination.” Similar comfort rooms are also found at Shell Lawaan in Talisay City in Cebu, Shell Tunghaan in Minglanilla, Cebu and Shell Carlos P Garcia - Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Indeed, Shell set the benchmark of standards on fuel distribution.
#Christmassyplaces — Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest and most exciting festival of the year when presents are wrapped, foods are prepared and decorations are hung. But where would you find the most Christmas spirit in Bohol? The top picks for the most Christmassy places around Bohol: Hermila “Mila” Lim’s Christmas village (the only Christmas village in Bohol), Tagbilaran City Hall Compound for the thousands of festive lights and decorations, the sparkling Christmas lights at the FCB Main Building Compound, the dazzling light displays at the Plaza Rizal, Tubigon’s belen and parols, Sierra-Bullones’ tallest Santa Claus and ICM’s giant Santa Claus.
This is your VRS! It's been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.
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